Low(er) cost computing
In the middle of everything else that’s going on right now, we’re working to get the latest FrontlineSMS ready for launch. Among a few of the more minor changes (bug fixes and additional language support, for example) this new release will see the inclusion of FrontlineForms, a fully integrated SMS-driven data collection tool. Although it’s been ready for some time, we’ve been busy getting the core system up to scratch before adding the first of a range of exciting new functionality (the ability to do MMS – multimedia messaging – comes later this year courtesy of our Hewlett funding).
Of course, none of this is of any use if you can’t afford a computer to run anything on. As part of our goal to lower the barrier to entry for prospective FrontlineSMS users, we have plans to develop USB stick and mobile versions of the software. More news on that in the coming weeks and months.
In the meantime, thanks to great forward planning from Masabi – our developers – FrontlineSMS will already run on a range of emerging low-cost computers. Here’s the latest build (1.5.2) being tested on an Acer One (it’s also running happily on the even lower-cost EEE PC). This kind of set up – a low-cost computer, a GSM modem and a handful of low-end mobile phones – forms the backbone to our thinking of what an “SMS Hub in a Box” might look like.
We’re hoping to do something with that idea when we have a little spare time on our hands.